Menotti: Martin's Lie, Five Songs, Etc / Richard Hickox

Release Date: 4/21/1998
Label: Chandos
Catalog Number: CHAN 9605
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Giancarlo Menotti is quintessentially a theater composer. 'Martin's Lie,' like the more famous 'Amahl and the Night Visitors,' is a television commission that is now more frequently performed as a church opera. Telling the story of Martin, a young boy who lives in a church orphanage, the opera illuminates Menotti's moral, that love transcends the sin of a small lie.
A fleeing heretic pleads with Martin to hide him, and in the process convinces the child he is the boy's father. During the subsequent action, Martin withstands appeals to fear (the sheriff) and piety (the priest), and dies without revealing the hiding place of the stranger. The work ends with the assembled cast praying for Martin's soul. The effect is simple, moving, and, typical of Menotti, very direct. Alan Opie gives an especially moving performance as the fleeing heretic, but the all British cast does very well by Menotti.
The two groups of songs nicely illustrate the differences in Menotti's setting of his two principal languages (English and Italian). The Italian set, written for Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, is particularly well performed. This is an important example of Menotti's work other than the often-recorded 'Amahl' or 'The Medium.'
Works on This Recording
1. Martin's Lie by Gian Carlo Menotti
Performer: Alan Opie (Baritone), Matthew Best (Bass), Ben Dixon (Treble), Robin Leggate (Tenor), Connor Burrowes (Treble), Luke Johnson (Treble), Pamela Helen Stephen (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1964 ;
2. Canti della lontananza by Gian Carlo Menotti
Performer: Judith Howarth (Soprano), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1967 ; USA
3. Songs (5) by Gian Carlo Menotti
Performer: Robin Leggate (Tenor), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
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